Part of being a successful trader is staying up to date with the latest developments in technology and finance. If you haven’t noticed, world currencies have been a mess in recent years, destabilized by manipulation, politics, and a host of other reasons. It’s important that you’re aware what Bitcoin is and how it attempts to solve problems that plague traditional currencies.
What is Bitcoin?
Simply put, Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency and cash system. In this case, decentralized means there is no central, real-world governing body or regulation authority that oversees Bitcoin transactions. With traditional currencies such as the U.S. Dollar, Euro, etc., a central bank prints currency as needed.
What is the Bitcoin curreny based on?
In history studies, you’ve probably investigated what the U.S. dollar actually symbolizes. At one time, the gold standard linked U.S. dollar value directly to gold. Since President Nixon’s actions in 1971, the U.S. dollar has been somewhat abstract when trying to establish its link to any physical commodity.
Bitcoin is truly different in this sense. The value of Bitcoins were intentionally made rare using a mathematical formula (algorithm). Through a process called Bitcoin mining, a computer is given a complex mathematical problem to solve. If your computer can successfully solve this algorithm to produce a special 64-digit number, you become the proud owner of 50 Bitcoins. You can imagine the amount of computers in the world cranking around the clock to derive these special numbers. Only 21 million Bitcoins that will ever be created in total, with this total reached in the year 2140. There’s a market for Bitcoin mining pools and building computers dedicated for the purpose of Bitcoin computation. What’s to stop a supercomputer from deriving destabilizing the Bitcoin currency? The Bitcoin network automatically adjusts the computational difficulty of the mining algorithm, ensuring a new block of 50 Bitcoins can only be produced approximately every 10 minutes. It’s designed to be self-stabilizing. Last year, miners generated approximately $16.7 million. At press time, a single Bitcoin was worth roughly $130 USD.
Huh? Candles for this relatively new and unregulated currency? Yes, you can actually trade Bitcoins.
What about Bitcoin security?
A host of technologies are used to ensure the integrity of the transactions and stability of the currency. In addition to the automatically adjusting algorithm described above, a P2P (peer-to-peer) system keeps transaction direct from buyers to sellers. In this sense, transactions are similar to torrents. Digital signatures and an open-source, cryptographic protocol serve to authenticate exchanges. According to a PC World article, “Gonzague Gay-Bouchery, who heads marketing for Mt. Gox, said the exchange is slightly limiting the number of mini-transactions a trader can submit and capping the transactions during high trading times.” If successful, this would successfully prevent Bitcoin from becoming subject to the same overwhelming high frequency trading that occurs in regular equities, futures, commodities, etc.
What are Bitcoin exchanges?
For a digital currency to be successful, it needs to be easy to buy and sell. Exchanges, in the form of websites, serve to facilitate this buying and selling. Mt. GoX, located in Japan, is the most popular exchange, claiming to handle over 80% of all trade. If you click the gray banner at the top of the page, you’ll get a drop-down chart just like we posted here. You can see buying and selling price over time just like you do in your regular trading platforms. Currently, the best place to watch real-time Bitcoin market data and charts is this site. Note that it takes about a minute for market data to load. The programmer of this page is working on a standalone trading platform Bitcoin exchange markets. The Mt. GoX exchange lets users deposit into a Bitcoin account from regular currency using a bank transfer. Likewise, Bitcoins can be converted to regular currency and placed back into a bank account. Popular websites such as WordPress, Etsy, and Reddit accept Bitcoin.
What are some Bitcoin’s criticisms?
This Forbes article describes how Bitcoin may be a disruptive technology. On occasion, hackers have attacked Bitcion, causing the value of the currency to approach levels of worthlessness. One can speculate that hackers can also cause Bitcion value to rise, although real-world markets are subject to manipulation as well in the form of high frequency trading algorithms and institutions with large accounts. Because of Bitcoin’s inherent anonymity, it is used by shady parts of the internet for the buying and selling of illegal goods.
What do you think? Do you think Bitcoin is just a trend or bubble that will burst?
Would you feel safe investing in Bitcoins?
Do you have any reason to use Bitcoin now?
NinjaTrader sponsored John Paul’s price action webinar yesterday. John Paul begins the hour-long webinar by talking about one of our old courses, the ATO (At the Open). Now only available in the Mentorship Program, the ATO teaches you how to trade the opening move in the E-mini S&P. This exact price pattern occurs on a regular basis. By applying objective rules, you can learn to take advantage of this pattern every day.
Next, John Paul says why he doesn’t like to use traditional indicators – fibs, moving averages, MACDs, etc. These indicators usually require optimization because the market is always evolving. If you don’t optimize, you are stuck with old settings for a market that no longer behaves the way the indicator anticipates. The Atlas Line is indeed software for NinjaTrader, TradeStation and eSignal. Unlike other indicators, the Atlas Line only needs to be configured for the user’s local time zone. No ongoing updates are provided, nor does the user experience lag associated with traditional indicators.
At about 8:00, John Paul gives us an update on the January Effect on how it has played out so far. The January Effect says 2013 is expected to close higher (in December, 2013) than the price the price it closed at in the end of January, 2013. Since an overall trend is determined, John Paul is able to recognize a breakout strategy you can use for holding positions longer than a day or two. We get many questions from traders who hold positions overnight or swing trade – this is what you’re looking for. The strategy is described starting at about 10:00.
At 23:00, you can get an understanding of what the ATR (Average True Range) is. Even with long term positions, traders can use it to determine profit targets and stop losses.
At 37:00, John Paul transitions into the Atlas Line, explaining its trades and the Strength and Pullback signals.
At 43:00, John Paul explains the difference between the two scalping methods offered – The Trade Scalper and Price Action Scalping. Price Action Scalping is only offered in the Mentorship Program (begins May 1, 2013). He also covers chart setup with the NinjaTrader Dynamic SuperDOM. Remember that he can’t describe the full method it its entirety – just the basics are mentioned.
At 55:00, John Paul explains the market news page. We’ve posted about it before. Use the calendar to see upcoming financial news for the week. The closest news event is highlighted. On the top of the page, real-time market news is shown. Just refresh the page every week.
After a one-on-one Mentorship lesson, John Paul catches up with a recap of the E-Mini S&P. Based on emails we’ve been receiving, many traders followed John Paul’s strategy to go long (buy the market). His strategy is to buy the market whenever the E-mini S&P retraces back to the previous highest high.
Take a look at how January of 2013 ended higher than the price at which it began. According to the January Effect, the overall year of 2013 should trend bullishly. If you do a search here on the blog for “January Effect”, you can see John Paul’s previous predictions.
After a high has been reached, there is often a pullback to the short side. When price climbs back up, and hits the price of the previous high, consider buying the market. Many other trading firms keep saying “go short”, but every time a high was reached, the market went long again. Fast forward to 3:30 to see the recap of this behavior so far in 2013. There were many possible, profitable buying opportunities.
Why is this relevant now? Because on April 11, 2013, the E-Mini S&P was at it’s highest high of the entire year, tagging 1593.00. Wait for the retracement and see what happens!
You can take a look for yourself. Check out our Get Started Trading Guide and install NinjaTrader. Use the free, included Kinetick end of day data and open a “Day” chart. You’ll see the same price bars as John Paul demonstrates.
If you’re a day trader, then you must be aware of news events. They can make or break your profits!
At Day Trade To Win, we have developed a FREE web tool that will help you stay informed of news events – The News Calendar. We like to develop free trading tools such as this to help our students and traders who are just trying to improve their results.
This market news calendar automatically lists upcoming news events for the current week. When loading the page, you are automatically scrolled to the closest news event. As a general rule, at Day Trade to Win, we tell traders to stay out of the markets for fifteen minutes once a High or Medium impact news event occurs. It’s safer to trade once volatility returns to normal levels.
To use this tool, compare the current GMT or UTC time in the upper left with the scheduled time of the upcoming news announcement. You probably already know what your time zone is in relation to GMT, so do some quick mental math in case you want to know the local time the event occurs. You can see if a news event is Low, Medium, or High Impact by using the key at the top of the page. If you’re trading the E-Mini S&P, you will want to look for USD news announcements. If you’re trading currencies or forex, you will want to watch for the related countries.
Another feature – you can see real-time news at the top of the page. You’ll see things like prices of shares, daily settlements, FOMC information, soaring or falling stock prices – they’re all covered here. This news updates in real-time so you can stay informed.
If you need help, click the Help button in the top left for more information.
Thursday of last week, John Paul conducted a live webinar demonstrating the Atlas Line using real-time market data. For those who don’t know, the Atlas Line is software that plugs into NinjaTrader. On your NinjaTrader chart (or TradeStation or eSignal), the Atlas Line tells you the exact price to enter and whether you should be entering Long (Buy) or Short (Sell). How do you know when to get out? Hopefully, you’ll be getting out at profit. The profit targets are dynamic and based on what the market can presently produced. It’s based on the ATR (Average True Range). What if the trade goes against you? Then you may get stopped out using one of the four stop strategies: prove-it, catastrophic, time-based, and pivot. Does the Atlas Line give you the profit target or the stop loss? No – John Paul teaches you this in a client-only webinar and you calculate it on the fly as you’re trading. It’s easy to do.
Since the video is about 50 minutes long, here’s a rough play-by-play…
00:00 – 01:00 The MarketOpen parameter / no optimization needed
01:00 – 02:00 A review of the last couple of days on the ES (E-mini S&P 500) and Long and Short signals
02:00 – 05:00 Strength and pullback trades – additional entry opportunities 05:00 – 06:00 6E (CME Euro FX) trade called live – will it be a profit or loss? Keep watching…
06:00 – 10:00 Setting up the ATR and a discussion of the Euro futures
10:00 – 18:00 The four different stop strategies
18:00 – 19:00 Getting the entries by two consecutive closes above or below the Atlas Line
19:00 – 24:00 Setting up multiple Atlas Lines for overnight trading (European session example)
24:00 – 27:00 Importance of avoiding news events and FOMC days
27:00 – 31:00 Other ways to filter out trades with the Atlas Line
31:00 – 35:00 Trading multiple markets / diversification
35:00 – 48:00 Revisiting the E-mini for the day
A new Group Private Mentorship class begins March 28, 2013. Eight weeks of live training with John Paul will teach you everything you need to know to successfully trade futures and currencies. All courses and software are included with lifetime licenses. This new session has classes twice each week.
We expect this new session to fill up quickly. It’s a good idea to reserve your seat as soon as possible.
Remember, group training includes:
• Eight weeks of live training with DTTW founder John Paul
• Each training session is recorded for future playback reference
• All courses and software with lifetime licenses and digital books
• In total, 11 unique methods to trade price action are taught – unlike anything you’ve traded before
• Training goes above and beyond the written material
• Look at each day’s activity and ask questions to improve your understanding with expert insight
Only a monthly basis, we like to report how well the Atlas Line has performed. February 2013 was another successful month as indicated by these totals…
Total # of trades = 44
Total # of days traded = 19
Total net profit or loss (using 10 contracts excl. fees, slippage, etc.) = +$10,375
Data used in this calculation is from the Recent Trades page.
Calculations were performed manually – there is room for human error.
Remember, past performance is not indicative of future results. There is substantial risk of loss in day trading.
» Get the Atlas Line Signals «
Live training is included with purchase. After training, you will receive a video recording so you can always refresh your memory. The Atlas Line is not hard at all to use and free email support is included.
Want more results? See how the Atlas Line performed for January 2013.
Najam from New Jersey was a struggling trader who traded on and off for about a year. During his struggle, he was following moving averages, cycles, momentum, etc. He was not sure when to enter the trade and when to exit. He then found Day Trade to Win and signed up for the eight-week Mentorship Program. By learning the many price action methods John Paul teaches, Najam has all the answers he needs. Najam’s favorite trading methods he learned is the Roadmap, Atlas Line and X-5 trade.
“John Paul is an amazing teacher. You can ask him any question and he will explain it over and over until you get it. His method of trading is price action.”
He recommends this course to anyone who wants to improve their trading results. He commends John Paul and the Day Trade to Win staff for reliable help and service.
Included with the eight week Mentorship Program:
• Eight weeks in duration taught live by John Paul.
• Focuses on the E-mini and other popular futures and currencies
• Includes all software and courses (Atlas Line, ATO, Roadmap Trade, Blueprint Trade (Power Price Action method), X-5 Trade, Price Action Scalping, the Trade Scalper, Filtering Trades, Trading the News and much more).
• All classes are recorded and any class after the eight weeks is free. You can play back your videos at any time in the future and watch the lessons.
• Via email, John is also able to answer your trading questions about the Mentorship methods whenever you have them
• We also offer remote assistance to completely set you up with everything that you need.
• Our methods are based on experience and knowledge used by floor traders. Our focus is consistent profitability using only price action.
On March 18, 2013 the market gapped down overnight due to news in the country of Cypress. Take a look at the E-mini S&P at around midnight, US/Eastern and you’ll see the gap. The news was that the Cypress government is assuming control of its citizens’ financial assets. As one might expect, this created a large, downward move. The bias created was to sell the market. Even though your bias may be to sell the market, it’s still important to take a look at what the price action is saying to us. From midnight onward, price instead made a steady climb to around 1539 at 9:30 a.m. US/Eastern in the E-mini S&P.
The Dbl Bar Long signal was generated at the close of the red candle (1542.75) at 9:55 a.m. US/Eastern. The rest of the day until around 2:30 p.m. This goes to show you that listening to news to get a direction is not always a good strategy. When price intersected the Atlas Line and had two closes below it, a Dbl Bar Short signal was generated at 1545.5. The ATR allowed for a profit of 1.5 to 1.75 with this second trade. At about four minutes into the video, John Paul shows the Euro which had a very strong rally right after the Atlas Line’s long signal. Price action is best tool for helping you decide where the market is headed; especially in conjunction with the Atlas Line.
Last week, John Paul took a look at the E-mini S&P and the Atlas Line. He scrolled through four days of history, showing the many signals produced by the software. You can see more recent trades here. The idea of the Atlas Line is to provide you an exact entry and an overall direction of whether you should be long or short. When price is above the plotted Atlas Line line, go long. When below, go short. It’s a simple way of thinking.
You might be wondering how the Long and Short signals are produced. There needs to be two closing candles above the Atlas Line for a long signal. Similarly, two closing candles below the plotted line will produce a Short signal.
Sometimes, it can be a bit tricky to decide when / where the entry is. The Atlas Line has a BarsBack parameter that lets you specify how far back the order signal plots. If you zoom in on your chart and take the BarsBack into account, you’ll know exactly what candle the entry corresponds to. Alternatively, just look for the two closing candles above or below.
For your stop losses, there are a few different strategies. We take whatever comes first. (In case you’re new to trading – you are hoping your profit target is hit. The stop loss is what’s hit when price does not go in your favor -it’s a safety net.) The prove-it stop occurs when price closes on the opposite side of the line. The time-based stop occurs when 20 minutes have passed (four bars on a five minute chart). No need to hold the trade longer than that – get out at the current price. And the catastrophic stop is the big safety net – in case the market unexpectedly and sharply rises or falls in a short time frame. All of the stops are covered in detail during the hour-or-so long live training that’s included with purchase.
CFTC RULE 4.41 – HYPOTHETICAL OR SIMULATED PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE CERTAIN LIMITATIONS. UNLIKE AN ACTUAL PERFORMANCE RECORD, SIMULATED RESULTS DO NOT REPRESENT ACTUAL TRADING. ALSO, SINCE THE TRADES HAVE NOT BEEN EXECUTED, THE RESULTS MAY HAVE UNDER-OR-OVER COMPENSATED FOR THE IMPACT, IF ANY, OF CERTAIN MARKET FACTORS, SUCH AS LACK OF LIQUIDITY. SIMULATED TRADING PROGRAMS IN GENERAL ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO THE FACT THAT THEY ARE DESIGNED WITH THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFIT OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN.
GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS REQUIRE DISCLOSURE OF THE FACT THAT WHILE THESE METHODS MAY HAVE WORKED IN THE PAST, PAST RESULTS ARE NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. WHILE THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR PROFITS THERE IS ALSO A RISK OF LOSS. A LOSS INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH TRADING FUTURES CONTRACTS CAN BE SIGNIFICANT. YOU SHOULD THEREFORE CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER SUCH TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR FINANCIAL CONDITION SINCE ALL SPECULATIVE TRADING IS INHERENTLY RISKY AND SHOULD ONLY BE UNDERTAKEN BY INDIVIDUALS WITH ADEQUATE RISK CAPITAL.
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